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Is James Bond about to go electric?

New York Daily News logo New York Daily News 10/15/2015 Nick Kurczewski
The DBX concept hints that Aston Martin is moving in a bold new direction. - Aston Martin© Provided by Daily News, L.P. The DBX concept hints that Aston Martin is moving in a bold new direction. - Aston Martin

Times change but, if you’re an Aston Martin fan, some things have a wonderful way of staying the same.

That should hold true for the world’s first electric-powered Aston Martin.

The British supercar builder, most famous for its long-time association with the James Bond film franchise, is officially getting into the business of EVs. As first reported by Bloomberg, Aston Martin’s CEO, Andy Palmer, has promised a fully-electric version of the Rapide sedan that will debut within two years’ time.

Stretching a shade under 198-inches in total length, the current V-12-powered Rapide goes head-to-head with super-sedan rivals like the Porsche Panamera and Maserati Quattroporte. Long, lean, and elegant, the Rapide is one of our favorite means of carrying four people, and their luggage, at triple-digit speeds.

Aston Martin’s CEO, Andy Palmer, has promised a fully-electric version of the Rapide sedan that will debut within two years’ time. - Aston Martin© Provided by Daily News, L.P. Aston Martin’s CEO, Andy Palmer, has promised a fully-electric version of the Rapide sedan that will debut within two years’ time. - Aston Martin

Speaking in London, Palmer stated that the future Aston Martin EV will maintain the power and style that people expect from the prestigious automaker.

The move is an obvious shot across the bow of Tesla Motors, and the American company’s highly-regarded Model S electric sedan. Tesla has also recently taken the wraps off its next production vehicle, the Model X.

Aston offered a very strong hint that it was moving into a bold new direction earlier this year, with the DBX concept. First seen during the Geneva Motor Show, this SUV-like show car featured electric motors mounted directly in each wheel hub. That not only made the DBX entirely electric-powered, it did away with the need for a traditional engine compartment and most other technical hardware found in a modern vehicle.

Regarding the DBX, Aston’s Andy Palmer called it “a challenge to the existing status quo in the high luxury GT segment.” Now that challenge looks more and more ready to make the leap to production, in a vehicle with somewhere in the range of 800-1,000-horsepower.

Ben Collins, stunt driver for Daniel Craig, poses with the Aston Martin DBS from 'Quantum of Solace' as he attends a drinks reception ahead of the opening of the Bond In Motion exhibition at the London Film Museum on March 18, 2014 in London, England. The Exhibition is the largest official collection of original Bond vehicles and opens on the 21st March to the general public. - Aston Martin© Provided by Daily News, L.P. Ben Collins, stunt driver for Daniel Craig, poses with the Aston Martin DBS from 'Quantum of Solace' as he attends a drinks reception ahead of the opening of the Bond In Motion exhibition at the London Film Museum on March 18, 2014 in London, England. The Exhibition is the largest official collection of original Bond vehicles and opens on the 21st March to the general public. - Aston Martin

We expect Aston Martin will forego the hub-mounted electric motors for a more standard EV layout, complete with a lithium-ion or lithium-polymer battery back that’s good for a range of about 300 miles (or right where the Tesla Model S’ range resides).

And what about the price?

Well, James Bond won’t have a problem asking Q Branch to make room in the budget for his next zero emission ride. For those of us without a license to kill from the British secret service, however, you can expect the Aston Martin Rapide EV (if that’s the name Aston opts to use…and we doubt it will) to sticker somewhere around $250K per copy.

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